Assembly pushes back due date for Chun’s fine

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Assembly pushes back due date for Chun’s fine

The National Assembly yesterday passed special legislation designed to extend the expiration date for the fines imposed on former military strongman Chun Doo Hwan in an overwhelming 227-2 vote.

With the passage of the law, the penalty collection due date has been extended to 2020, giving Chun more time to pay his 167.2 billion won in outstanding fines.

The Supreme Court in 1997 ordered the former dictator to pay 220.5 billion won. Of the total, Chun has paid back 53.3 billion won.

The collection expiration date was due to expire in October this year without the special law.

The across-the-aisle law will enable the government to collect not only from Chun, but also from family members and relatives suspected of colluding with him to hide the fortune he amassed during his authoritarian presidency.

“The law being passed today will enable [the authorities] to find Chun’s relatives who are involved in hiding assets [to avoid being collected]. [We] now have a way to see if Chun has only 290,000 won in his pocket,” Democratic Party lawmaker Choi Jae-sung wrote on Twitter yesterday.

Animosity against the Chun family runs high in Korea, especially among the so-called 486 generation, who were born in the 1960s and participated in pro-democracy activities against the Chun regime during their college years in the 80s, and who are now in their 40s.

Choi, who spearheaded the legislation as head of the DP’s special committee to collect Chun’s illegal assets, also belongs to the 486 generation.

The 82-year-old Chun has been ridiculed and made fun of since he stated in 2003 before a judge that he couldn’t pay the fine because all the money he had was 290,000 won.

In 1996, Chun was convicted of corruption and a bloody crackdown on the democratic movement in the southwestern city of Gwangju in 1980, which left about 200 people dead. Chun was sentenced to death but received a reduction in the sentence. He was released with a special pardon in 1997.

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